July 17, 2013

Lung Foundation Australia launches Australia-first asbestos nurse education pilot program

Lung Foundation Australia has launched a new intensive five month pilot program specially designed to improve how nurses care for patients with asbestos-related diseases (ARD).

Lung Foundation Australia CEO William Darbishire said “ten nurses have begun their journey to becoming nurse-leaders and providing world class treatment and management for people with ARD, especially those with malignant pleural mesothelioma”.

Mr Darbishire said the successful nurse applicants came from across the country and represent the private, public, rural, regional and indigenous sectors.  

“These nurses will become the leaders and mentors in the field, helping shine a light on the needs of patients and carers,” Mr Darbishire said. 

“Australia has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world however there appears to be a worrying lack of general knowledge about ARD and mesothelioma, particularly among health professionals,” he said.

”Once the five month pilot is finished, we intend to seek accreditation from the Australian College of Nursing, with the goal to expand the program nationally in November.”

These pilot program nurses will become the champions for the program, linking with and helping other nurses around the country to gain skills in this area.

It is estimated more than 25,000 Australians will die from mesothelioma during the next 40 years.

The nurses will also take part in a four-day face-to-face component to improve the general knowledge about these conditions and help establish a Mesothelioma Special Interest Group.   

Comcare has contributed some seed funding for this nurse education pilot program through the Asbestos Innovation Fund.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Damon Cavalchini on (07) 3251 3643, 0411 609 681 or email damon@lungfoundation.com.au